Skip to comments.NBC News chief Shapiro resigns
Posted on 09/06/2005 2:09:09 PM PDT by LdSentinal
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - NBC News President Neal Shapiro resigned on Tuesday, ending months of speculation about his future at the network that is facing heightened competition at its flagship morning program, "Today." An NBC spokeswoman confirmed Shapiro's resignation, which the 12-year network veteran announced in a memo to news staff. He has held the top NBC News job since 2001.
Shapiro said he had been considering a change since the network began its annual planning and that he missed the creativity he enjoyed in previous jobs as a producer.
"I've concluded that it's time to move on to a new challenge," Shapiro wrote in a copy of the memo obtained by Reuters.
As NBC News president, Shapiro also was responsible for the news gathering of cable TV network MSNBC.
Shapiro joined NBC in 1993 as executive producer on its widely-watched "Dateline NBC" news magazine. He came aboard after the show lost credibility by faking crash test results in a story on trucks made by General Motors Corp.
Under Shapiro, "Dateline" turned around and increasingly gained viewers. It expanded to multiple nights weekly and earned solid ratings and advertising revenue for the network run by the NBC Universal division of General Electric Co..
COVERAGE OF SEPT. 11
Shapiro's success won him the job of NBC News President in 2001, months ahead of the September 11 attacks. He oversaw the network's coverage of that event, the war in Iraq and the smooth transition to current nightly news anchor Brian Williams from veteran Tom Brokaw, who retired last fall.
"It's important to me that my departure not be used in anyway to diminish the accomplishments of this news division," Shapiro wrote.
In recent months Shapiro had come under pressure to boost viewers at "Today," whose audience size has shrunk while ABC rival "Good Morning America" grew.
This past spring, he and his boss, NBC Universal Television Group President Jeff Zucker, replaced executive producer Tom Touchet with Phil Griffin to shake up the show.
In its 1990s heyday, "Today" was run by Zucker. Back in May, the weekly viewership gap between No. 1 rated "Today" and No. 2 "Good Morning America" closed to a narrow 40,000 viewers. But by July it had widened again to more than 500,000 viewers.
In a separate memo, Zucker said Shapiro had approached him "several months ago," about moving on.
Zucker said NBC executive Steve Capus will serve as acting president of NBC News until a replacement can be named. No timetable was given for naming a new president.
Neither Zucker nor Shapiro were available for comment.
" Shapiro also was responsible for the news gathering of cable TV network MSNBC."
President Bush hates black people
Hey Shapiro - nice going-away gift with that shrill coverage of the hurricane. Nice job, a--hole.
"Dan Rather, moonbat at large" that's who! He told us he wasn't biased.
Chris Mathews is reported to be next for the firing squad at NBC. Rumour is propaganda isnt selling like the old days.
Getting rid of the Joker might help.
Maybe the new guy will can Katie Couric.
That would be sweet.
Kind of sucks doesn't it? The internet has underminned those poor old executive producers of 'news' shows.
It is so tough to be 'creative' when you have millions of informed citizens watching your every move...
1 in 10,000? Or is that too high?
I know one thing: Today show numbers won't improve until Couric is gone! (at least in my house.)
I hear that Al Franken is looking for a job. Maybe if they hire him, he can introduce a more moderate tone to their broadcasts.
"I've concluded that it's time to move on to a new challenge,"
yeahhhh right. Like spending more time with the family?
Is that for real? I figured Mattthews is next in line for Shapiro's position (lol). Chrissy's the goldenboy of MSNBC. Sort of sad considering his ratings are at about a .3 and he is the star of the network.
Couric might be the new guy.
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